London Mayor Sadiq Khan: Dated UK tower blocks could be torn down

Some Grenfell residents had warned months ago that fire safety issues at the tower left it at risk of a “catastrophic” event.He called the fire a “preventable accident”, acknowledging the anger and frustration of displaced residents of the working-class enclave in one of Britain’s wealthiest districts.Outside, many people lit candles and added flowers to banks of bouquets piled against the church walls.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has been criticized for her slowness in visiting the victims of the fire – her visits took place more than 48 hours after the fire broke out – and refusal to answer questions about government oversights that might have increased the deadly nature of the blaze.Angry crowds also stormed a local government office Friday, shouting, “We want justice” and demanding that authorities provide an accounting of the victims, as well as support for the survivors.Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, she said: “Kensington and Chelsea are giving £10 to the survivors when they go to hotels”.In a television interview, Mrs May said the fire was “absolutely horrifying” and had been a “terrifying experience” for those affected.Queen Elizabeth and her grandson Prince William visited a community centre on Friday where some of the survivors are being housed, and where volunteers have been inundated with donations of clothes and food. “The country has witnessed a succession of awful tragedies”.She stood for a minute’s silence at the start of her birthday parade on Saturday.”It is hard to escape a very sombre national mood”, Elizabeth said in a message on her official birthday. “United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss”. Demonstrators gathered outside, protesting about several issues including the fire.”It was murder” said the front page of The Sun; “May takes cover” said The Times; “Inferno: the anger erupts”, said the Daily Mail.The government has set up a £5 million ($6.4 million, 5.7 million euros) emergency fund for the Grenfell Tower residents, allocating a minimum £5,500 to each household with £500 cash payments already being handed out.Other measures outlined by the prime minister, following a meeting with residents on Saturday, included more staff covering phone lines and ground staff wearing high-visibility clothing so they could be easily found.She told BBC One’s Sunday Politics: “We are still hearing stories of people not being allocated properly”.David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham who lost his friend Khadija Saye in the fire, has said the “very best senior officers” in the force should undertake the criminal investigation into the blaze.Two government ministers – Treasury chief Philip Hammond and Trade Minister Greg Hands – said yesterday the cladding used on the building’s exterior seems to be banned by British regulations.The fire forced residents to flee through black smoke down the single stairwell, jump out of windows or even drop their children from the 120-apartment building.Seven Moroccans are among the dead, the north African country’s foreign affairs ministry said. Metropolitan Police Stuard Cundy said: “Sadly, our work will be ongoing for many, many weeks”.Pope Francis sent a message of “heartfelt condolences”, in which he invoked God’s blessings of “strength and peace” on the local community.